“Corpo-working” Companies now joining the coworking bandwagon

 

Co-working has traditionally been thought of as the exclusive domain of start-ups and freelancers. But of late, traditional corporate companies have come to appreciate the value of adopting a co-working environment.

The success of Wework and similar companies perhaps best illustrates the value that corporate co-working environments (or “corpo-working” as it is typically shortened to).

 

Often thought of as a cost-cutting measure for startups and freelancers, co-working was seen as a step-up from the traditional stereotype of entrepreneurs starting in their backyard or garage. It served as a means of offering office space to fledgling business while keeping overheads to minimum.

More importantly, co-working spaces served as centers of innovation providing spontaneous avenues for collaboration,  a concept Pardon Makumbe, a VC partner, highlighted as being key to successful  entrepreneurship.

 

Big corporations have come to realize that some of those benefits are transferable when they decided to explore co-working as an alternative to signing a long-term lease or building  a new office altogether.

Orange Telecom in France in 2014 reported improved productivity and better morale outcomes for employees who took part in the pilot co-working project. IBM recently signed a deal with WeWork to move 600 employees into office space designed by WeWork. And these are merely the highlights of this growing trend with Essenys projecting increases in the number of corporations looking into co-working as part of their overall.

 

The benefits extend beyond the ones we have discussed, and have special significance for both organizations and employees that make up these organizations. Co-working offers a great deal of diversity for employees both in terms of the people they meet as well as the kind of ideas they get to share with people outside of the restricted domains.

 

New partnerships and collaborations are therefore easier to arrive at than just working in individual silos. It expands the social interaction into the company–something not often thought of, in workspace design. For companies, it offers a competitive advantage as employers can highlight co-working as one of the things that distinguish them in their recruitment efforts.

 

“Big corporations have come to realize that some of those benefits are transferable when they decided to explore co-working as an alternative to signing a long-term lease or building  a new office altogether.”

 

As competition to get the most highly skilled and most effective employees is heating, companies are also looking to differentiate themselves from would-be employees. Additionally being around freelancers (read, entrepreneurially-minded individuals) exposes organizations to the individuals they would most like to hire.

 

The most obvious benefit is in reduction of cost for the business who no longer have to sign a long lease or build a new office space, that ties them down whatever the economic prospects. Downsizing the workforce does not mean empty cubicle space that the business has already paid for, It just means the space reverts back to the coworking community.

Relatedly, the acquisition of ancillary services like cleaning and maintenance now falls to whoever is running the co-working space, thus freeing company to focus on its core activities.

 

Wisinomad is a firm believer in coworking as it sparks creativity and increases efficiency.

 

To learn more about wisinomad, visit www.wisinomad.com and send in your application.

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